Campbell won't run for Lt. Gov. position

'For the next four years, I'd prefer to be doing other things,' he says

Posted: Sunday, April 04, 2010

Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell announced Friday he will not seek election to the position he was appointed to last summer.

Campbell, 58, had been head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs when he was chosen by former Gov. Sarah Palin. He was replacing then-Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who replaced Palin a month earlier.

Campbell said that means he'll be withdrawing from the Aug. 24 Republican Primary.

"Last year, prior to my appointment as Lieutenant Governor, I had intended to retire from the Alaska National Guard at the end of 2010 to pursue other career interests," he said. "While I am deeply honored that Governor Palin had the confidence in me to be our state's Lieutenant Governor, my family and I have decided to pursue other opportunities."

Campbell said he did not yet know what he would be doing when his term ends in December.

The job of lieutenant governor is different from the commissioner job he previously held, Campbell said.

"For the next four years, I'd prefer to be doing other things," he said.

While Campbell said he has no plans to leave office early, he said he wanted to let other potential lieutenant governor candidates know the position would be open.

Other Republicans running for the position are Rep. Jay Ramras, R-Fairbanks, and Anchorage radio show host Eddie Burke.

Campbell said his announcement was not aimed at encouraging anyone to run against Ramras.

"Jay is a good person. This is not for or against [him], but others may want to run," he said.

In a statement issued Friday, Parnell praised Campbell and his work for the state in areas such as international business development and organizing food and fuel assistance in rural villages last winter.

Earlier in 2009, Palin selected Corrections Commissioner Joe Schmidt to be second in line to the governor's office. The Legislature then confirmed Schmidt, which meant that if Parnell left the office of lieutenant governor, then Schmidt would take his place.

But when Palin resigned months later, she announced that Campbell would be the new lieutenant governor, not Schmidt. The mix-up prompted legal reviews, with Attorney General Dan Sullivan saying Campbell could serve in that role temporarily until receiving legislative approval.

Campbell was confirmed as Lieutenant Governor on August 10, 2009 during a special session of the Alaska Legislature.

• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at586-4816 or patrick.forgey@juneauempire.com.The Associated Press contributedto this report.



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